Orange Chiffon Cake

orange-chiffon-cake-1-muchamunch

Well hello there and happy new year! My, how quickly 2014 came to us. We’re cruising into the 4th week of the new year already.  I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and a wonderful New Year’s celebration. 2013 was a great year but let’s make 2014 bigger and better, shall we?

There’s so much to look forward to in the next 12 months.  For starters my little girl turned 5 years old last December which means she begins school this year. In fact, she starts next month.  How terrifying for me and how exciting for her! I was such an emotional wreck when we shopped for her school bag and shoes.  I can’t imagine what it will be like for both of us on her first day of school. I suppose I’m just a little protective of her and maybe, just maybe I’m not quite ready to let her go.  She’s my little girl after all. I know she’s really looking forward to it and I’m sure she’ll enjoy it.

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Now where was I? Oh right.  Cake.

I made this cake over the weekend to bring to my sister in laws house for a quiet lunch and tea with some work colleagues of my husband and brother-in-law. Turns out, their colleagues couldn’t eat it because they are vegetarians and they can’t eat eggs.  I suppose it’s my fault for not checking their dietary needs but in a good way, it meant more cake for me and the kids.  I brought left overs (what was 4 slices) to my work colleagues and they loved it.  Makes me feel all gooey inside when they say that!

Chiffon cakes are soft, fluffy and light in texture.  Sure this one doesn’t quite win in the looks department with that it fails the tall, flat top and flat bottom classic look but it tastes so heavenly.  Like eating an orange flavoured cloud or pillow. It smells wonderful too. Eating this kind of cake always makes me happy.

Chiffon cakes are quite easy to make but does require care and attention, in this case the whisking of the egg whites.  From what I have read, over whisking and under whisking the egg whites will cause the cake to collapse.  So pay attention to the egg whites when you’re whisking them!

So far so good then.

Now let’s bake a cake! Here are a few things you’ll need to make it a little easier for you:

Large mixing bowls
Electric Mixer
Rubber Spatula
Whisk
Tube Pan (23cm/9″)

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Orange Chiffon Cake

Ingredients

Part A
6 eggs yolks (room temperature)
½ cup vegetable, corn or canola oil
¾ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 Tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract 

Part B
2 ¼ cups sifted plain/all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups caster sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 ½ Tbsp orange zest 

Part C
6 egg whites (room temperature)
½ tsp cream of tartar
¼ cup caster sugar

Method 

Pre-heat oven to 170ºC (335ºF) fan forced. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients from Part A then set aside.  In the bowl of your electric mixer on low-speed, mix together all ingredients from Part B until just combined.  Make a well in the centre and gently pour Part A into Part B and continue to mix on low then gradually to medium to high-speed until batter is well combined.  Set aside.

To make the meringue (Part C), place the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large clean bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat the egg whites until soft peaks (foamy) form.  Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat the egg whites on high-speed until stiff peaks form (until just glossy).

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the meringue (in three additions) into the batter.  Mix until just combined.  Take care not to deflate the batter. Pour the batter into an un-greased tube pan and bake in the pre-heated oven for 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. The top of the cake will spring back when lightly touched.  Once the cake is removed from the oven, immediately turn the cake pan upside down and place on a bottle or on the bottom of a glass or anywhere that will leave the cake pan suspended over the counter.  Leave the cake to cool completely before removing from the pan (about 1 ½ hours). 

To remove the cake, gently run a knife around the inside of the tube pan and around the centre. Turn the cake over (the bottom of the cake now becomes the top) onto a cake board or cake stand and then slide your knife in one swift motion under the cake to separate the cake from the ring.  Lightly dust with icing sugar (optional).

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NOTES:

- Prep all your ingredients ahead of time. It makes things a little easier.
- It’s a good idea to separate the eggs while they’re still cold.  Once separated, leave (covered)  on the kitchen counter and bring to room temperature.
- Ensure that your bowls and whisks are squeaky clean, especially the ones you’ll use for the egg whites.
- Wash your oranges thoroughly before you grate them and only grate the orange part of the skin – do not grate any white bits under the skin.  That part of the skin has a bitter taste.
- After reading and watching a number of tutorials for this type of cake, it is really important that you invert the cake once removed from the oven so that it doesn’t shrink or lose its volume.
- For conversions, click here.

orange-chiffon-cake-tuba-pan-muchamunch

I used a two piece 23cm/9in tube pan with legs (pictured above). When you invert the pan, invert it on a bottle or the bottom of a glass.  It should be fine to balance from the centre hole so long as the surface is flat.  Or you can just let it rest on its legs.

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This cake turned out so well that I plan to make many more in the future.  Of course doing so will help me perfect it. Hopefully.  I see pandan, ube (purple yam), lemon and coffee flavoured chiffon cakes.  Oh my!

~

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